Finally caught up
It’s a Monday morning as I start this, I was up way too early, but the heat and humidity has been getting to me. Today is forecast to be the end of it, with cooler and drier air coming for tomorrow and right through the holiday weekend.
Part of me would love to head north for the weekend, but another even larger part doesn’t want to deal with the crowds and traffic on a three-day weekend. Besides, staying home will save me a few bucks that I can put towards the new 10-18 mm lens I’m planning on purchasing soon. I’m sure that I’ll find enough flowers, insects and birds to fill a few posts even if I do stay close to home.
I’ll probably return to the Hofma Preserve on one day to make another attempt at photographing the sedge wrens there. On one of the other days, I’ll get serious with my Tokina macro lens mounted on my tripod as it should be. And, I think that a day at Pickerel Lake is in order for the flowers and possibly birds there.
After my difficulties with the new 300 mm prime L series lens, I would say that overall, I’m very, very pleased with the images it produces. However, it isn’t a great lens for birding, it doesn’t do well at the distances where I photograph most birds. That’s okay, it makes a great lens for this time of the year when I’m shooting more insects and flowers than birds.
One thing about the 300 mm L series lens that I don’t think that I’ve mentioned, is that the image stabilization seems to draw a lot more power from the camera battery than any of my other lenses. Although, that could be because I use that lens differently than any of my other lenses. I hold the camera on subjects longer, and force the auto-focus into the servo mode for all the close-ups of flowers and insects. I hold on birds longer as well, as I tweak the focus after the auto-focus locks.
The IS is running the entire time that I hold the camera on a subject, and not only does it seem to draw more power, it is quite loud as well.
But, no matter what the reason, I can’t go a full week of using the 300 mm lens without charging the battery as I can with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) or the 70-200 mm L series lens.
Anyway, time for a few more photos so I can really be caught up.
I’ll start with a male house finch.
Which flew to another branch. I was holding the camera on him, waiting for him to turn so that the light would be better, when a female English sparrow popped her head up from within the spruce tree to see what was going on.
This next one is from the Tokina macro lens used handheld, and hasn’t been cropped at all.
An update on the witch’s broom.
I found a rather handsome looking beetle.
The next few are of flowers and insects that I found in the marshes of the Hofma Preserve while waiting for sedge wrens.
I found this grasshopper on a leaf near home.
But, when I tried for a side view, the hopper slipped over the side of the leaf to hide. I think that most of us probably believe that since insects are small, that they “see” small. That is, they see things in relation to their size the way that we see things in relation to our size. That’s wrong though, insects obviously see as much or more than we do, in order to spot potential predators, and to hide from them.
These guys and gals are everywhere this year! Because of the weather the past two summers, I saw very few butterflies. This year, even after the long harsh winter that we had, I’ve been seeing more butterflies than the past two summers combined.
Seeing mallard ducklings, I was going for as good of a photo as I could get, and of course one of them decided to shake itself off just as I pressed the shutter release.
I think that I have a mental block when it comes to identifying flowers. I know that I have seen these common yellow roadside flowers in several blog posts by others, yet their name escapes me.
These next white flowers were tiny, this photo wasn’t cropped at all, shot with the 300 mm lens. I hope that I can find them again when I have the Tokina with me to get a better photo.
I tried all spring to get a good image of this next flower, it’s a shade loving plant from what I can tell. I finally found one in the sun for a good photo.
The next flower is another that I shot many photos of to finally get this one. I had to go down 1 1/3 EV to prevent the center of the flower from being blown out.
The next two came from the Tokina lens.
This one is courtesy of the 300 mm prime lens.
As are the rest of the images in this post from here on.
This next photo isn’t very good, but I caught both of the meadowlarks taking a break from feeding their young in the same tree at the same time.
In one of my last posts I had photos of a young rabbit, here’s an adult.
How the cottontail got its name.
The mulberries are getting ripe, and normally the birds flock to the mulberry trees to feed on the berries, that’s not happening yet this year. But, this squirrel was making sure that the berries didn’t go to waste.
Well, I was caught up for a very short time. Since I began working on this post, young birds of several species have fledged, and they and their parents have been everywhere. It was also the end of the month, so I walked over to the office to pay my rent, and stopped off at one of the ponds nearby since I had taken my camera. I went crazy shooting photos of the geese there at the pond. And of course, more flowers have bloomed, so once again, I find myself with too many photos to sort through. That’s really bad timing, with a three-day weekend coming up, I’ll have images coming out of my ears again.
Oh, and by the way, the weather for this long weekend is looking like it will be close to perfect! The forecast is for a cool Canadian high pressure area to park over Michigan with sunny skies, pleasant temperatures, and low humidity. If that turns out to be true, I may end up with enough photos to last me into winter. 😉
I better stay away from the ponds around here.
Or I’ll end up with two years worth of photos. 😉
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!